Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Volume 1 (Penguin …

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Title: Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Volume 1 (Penguin Classics)

Description: Dive into the foundational text of modern economics with “Capital: A Critique of Political Economy” by Karl Marx. This first volume of the seminal work explores the capitalist mode of production, uncovering the inherent contradictions and exploitative nature of capitalism. Marx’s analysis remains relevant today, offering valuable insights into the workings of the economy and the distribution of wealth. This Penguin Classics edition includes a new introduction by historian Gareth Stedman Jones, providing context and highlighting the enduring relevance of Marx’s critique. Whether you are a student of economics or simply interested in understanding the dynamics of our economic system, “Capital” is a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of political economy.

10 reviews for Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Volume 1 (Penguin …

  1. not a natural

    Not a polemic but a keeper nonetheless
    There is an enormous collection of valuable information in volume 1 of Marx’s Capital. Volume 1, moreover, serves very effectively as the first of three volumes in which Marx gives truly compelling evidence of his genius — how else could one author come to terms with this massive account of the reality of capitalist production as Marx uniquely understands it? While it soon becomes abundantly clear that Marx was a master prose stylist, there is no mistaking the fact that he did not write for the ease and convenience of his readers. I can’t imagine taking the full measure of this volume, much less the two volumes which follow, without the sustained help of explanatory material such as that provided by David Harvey, a veteran American academician who takes Marx very seriously indeed.Without question, even for exceptionally well informed and intellectually capable readers, this book is a bear. If you invest the substantialamount of time and prodigious effort needed to master it, you will definitely come to understand why Marxists become Marxists, and you may very well become one yourself. At the very least, you’ll see the world differently, and you’ll have a firmer grasp on the character of our contemporary world, not just its economic make-up, but in a socially expansive way. It’s hard to imagine anyone reading the book carefully and with a modicum of understanding and coming away with the judgment that this is merely an ideologically motivated, long-winded exercise in willful self-deception and the deception of others. If you encounter someone who characterized Marx as a willfully wrong-headed ideologue, you may safely assume that you’re dealing with someone who has not read Capital.Capital Volume 1 is, in fact, a richly informative and very difficult piece of world-class research. I imagine that most readers who take its full measure will come back to it again and again. I can’t imagine doing justice to Capital Volume 1 without putting forth the kind of effort that makes for the creation of a life-long connection. Marx himself claims to have sacrificed his health, happiness, and family to writing the book. This has the pathetic sound of self-pitying exaggeration. But given what I know of Marx and the necessarily prodigious demands of the kind of work he produced, I’m sure he’s being dispassionately truthful.You may be disappointed to find that Capital is much less polemical than it is rigorously analytical. That was my first response. For the long term, however, I realized the book is a keeper, and I acknowledged that I’d have to look elsewhere for a call-to-arms that is not also embedded in massive learning. It’s true, of course that Marx was an active professional revolutionary, but he was also a world-class scholar with a prodigiously cultivated mind. Reading Marx makes me want to spend a year or two in the library of the British Museum, where Marx did his best scholarship.Marx and Charles Darwin exchanged fairly frequent correspondence. Everyone knows that Darwin transformed our understanding of the world and our place in it. Much the same is true of Marx’s contribution to human knowledge. It’s interesting to acknowledge that social and religious conservatism were barriers to the rightful dissemination of both. That Marx maintained an ongoing relationship with others of undeniable genius, such as Darwin, bespeaks Marx’s own intellectual prowess and reflects his status as a wonderfully original thinker. In his own authentic way, Marx was at least as much a brilliant scientist as Darwin. Darwin changed the way we thought about ourselves, but Marx changed the way we live.

  2. Joseph

    Seller: Product came in a timely fashion. My only complaint is that it is not clearly marked as “used” as my book came with some cover damage and mild stress on the binding.Book: Gives a good critique of capitalism and makes you think of the system you live in. While I don’t necessarily agree with all of the premises, it is a thought provoking read.

  3. Paul ‘tax the rich’

    After ’08 financial crash, can anyone seriously invalidate Marx’s masterful critique of the capitalist mode of production?
    Karl Marx spent ten years researching and writing Vol. 1 of Capital. He had originally assembled notes, letters, and manuscripts for six volumes, later paired down to two volumes (2 and 3), which he was unable to complete in his lifetime. After Marx’s death, it was left to his close collaborator and friend, Frederick Engels, to edit and compile those for publication. I want to re-iterate what several other reviewers have already stated about what Capital is, but most importantly what it is NOT. It’s secondary title is ‘A Critique of Political Economy’, that is: a highly developed criticism of the classical political economists that preceded Marx, primarily Adam Smith, David Riccardo, Thomas Malthus, Jean-Baptiste Say, John Stuart Mills, etc. and the system (capitalism) they sought to explain. It is NOT The Communist Manifesto, that is: it is NOT a ‘communistic’ or socialist ‘program’. In fact, as others have previously stated, socialism is only mentioned once in Ernest Mandel’s excellent introduction to this edition. In Capital, Marx’s presents a devastating analysis of the ‘capitalist mode of production’ that, in light of the world wide economic crash of ’08 (and continuing crises), is as relevant today as it was when first published in 1867.Further, the results of and failures,(both perceived and real) of the previously existing ‘socialist/communist’ states are completely irrelevant when judging the validity of both Marx’s analytical method (dialectical materialism) and his conclusions about the ‘capitalist mode of production’. When, in an interview with The Wall St. Journal, respected (and intellectually honest) bourgeois economist, Nuriel Roubini, declared that “Karl Marx said it right…capitalism can self-destruct”, he was truthfully admitting what Marx had made evident 140 years ago. […]If one wants to understand the roots and causes of economic crises, environmental destruction, gross wealth inequality, poverty, never ending wars and militarism, racism, sexism, unemployment, hunger and misery for billions across the globe, look inside Marx’s Capital. It holds the key to unlocking those answers.I highly recommend (as several other reviewers have) David Harvey’s excellent (free) on-line companion video series, ‘Reading Marx’s Capital’. Harvey is especially good when he relates what Marx wrote about in Capital to modern society today.

  4. Ole Skovsmose

    Perfect OK
    Perfect OK

  5. Joseleonardo

    To those who wish to understand Marx & Capitalism in general.
    This is a dense book that you must read as best as you can. The first volume contains basic block understand how capitalism comes to be. This book, however, can be complex enough to be tiresome as it contains a lot of information. If you get tired or you’re at the point that you do not understand what you’re reading, then stop and take a rest from reading. Missing information can be confusing to the continuous reading of this book, and to the next two volumes of The Capital.Another important aspect of this book is that this is not a one-read only to understand entirely. You might have to return to this book to completely understand what Marx is trying to present.The good thing about this book is that it achieves to be objective. It is not a book to lift one up into become a revolutionary, like some propaganda tries to claim. This book is truly trying to understand the birth, development and potential effects of capitalism. However, by understanding capitalism, one can understand and even reach Marx’s conclusion of other books that Engels and Marx himself reach.

  6. Mark Cowling

    I read this previously in the Moscow version, which was the translation by Moore and Aveling. This translation is much clearer, and makes the book more understandable. It brings out the Hegelian language better, enabling the reader to make up his or her own mind about whether we are dealing with “coquetting” with Hegelian terms or with something more substantial.The chapter on the working day, with examples of incredibly long days worked by both adults and children, is really striking. While in Britain, at least, we do not have children working extremely long hours, we are increasingly getting people constrained to work long hours by the gig economy, or while working as care workers in the community.Obviously there are very numerous and complex debates about how to interpret Marx’s analyses and the extent to which they are valid, but this translation gives the reader an accurate starting point.

  7. Amazon Customer

    Despite the mindless hatred of Marx’s writings you’ll find all over the place, this book is extremely valuable. Aside from the thoughtless dislike of Marxism, Marx was not himself a Marxist despite how counterintuitive that might sound to some. There’s a lot of value in these books and there’s also stuff that we need to move beyond. The fact that the guy wasn’t always right doesn’t mean he wasn’t also incredibly insightful and somebody whose ideas we have a lot to learn from. No need to worship or completely denigrate him. My advice is don’t trust anyone who does either, they either haven’t read him or are too dazzled by his undeniable intelligence to see where he went wrong or succumbed to some of the negative cultural paradigms of the day.All that being said, this book is unbelievable. It’s rather long and can feel quite daunting, but it’s not half as hard to read as a lot of people make it seem. Just take your time and have patience with it, it has a lot to offer including some interesting, not often talked about, history.

  8. Abantika

    Reading the Marxian view on Economics/Society/Politics is as necessary as reading the Classical and Keynesian views. This edition of Penguin Classic a perfect treasure to keep.

  9. Melissa Kurosawa

    Great book exactly as described.

  10. Oliver Bin Hua

    I’m rereading Marx’s de kapital three volumes and it just strikes one as so relevant today. His fundamental analysis of capitalism and its invetibe implosion is so classic and timeless. Don’t use marx to predict when the system he critiqued is going to fail but use it to understand the logic. As liberal capitalism progresses to its current state, all the markers Marx pointed out are present and the systemic collapse is happening in front of eyes. I think we are going to see the death of the liberal capitalism practiced in the west today within our lifetime. Finally human beings are progressing along the historic arc again after the malicious tumor is removed

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